home Surroundings El Karst de la Sierra de Utrera

Karst in Sierra de Utrera

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The Karst of Sierra de Utrera, in the Casares muncipal district, is one of the natural spots more atractive and still unknown in the province of Malaga. It encloses a singular paleontological patrimony that holds from the Jurasic up to the Plioceno, with interesting fossils as ammonites, a kind of cefalopods that have been extinguished for 65 millions of years.

On its rocky walls, communities of ferns and vegetal formations which are not very much represented in Andalucia. Moreover, this Karst is home for a variety of protected species such as the Royal Owl, the “Partridge Eagle”, the Alimoche; Bats inside its caves and otters in the banks of their rivers.

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This rich sample is complemented by remainings of human occupation that start from the Middle Paleolithic. The outstanding spot is the Cave of the Great Duke, occupied by neolithic communities, followed by the Figura, the Asas and the Cantaro, that have recently been investigated. There have also been found some remainings from the Bronze up to the Iron Age, although they are sites that have not been deeply investigated in spite of the numerous discoveries that were originated while the study of patrimonial and environmental impact that was carried out during the construction of the highway.

Villa Vieja, an important promontory of karstic nature at a height of 340 metres above sea level, had its first occupation at the end of the second millenium B.C. and presents the particularity of showing evidences of burials at that age, previous to Fenicic Culture, as well as a wall that still maintains some remaining towers.

El Canuto de la Utrera, ravine that divides the sierra in two, concentrates a great patrimonial, geomorphic and archeologic diversity. Adapted for the practice of climbing, it is frequented by lovers of mountaineering, who take advantage of the rocky walls for their training. In the same way, it is a very attractive place for spelunking in its rocky cavities, or trekking, ascending by the river from the Roman Baths and ending in the so-called Torcal, similar to the one in Antequera but with smaller dimensions.

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